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October 12, 2007
Pakistan vice-captain Salman Butt has been fined 50% of his match fee for making serious public criticism of match officials during the second Test against South Africa in Lahore.
After the third day of the Test, Butt said to the media: "There have been a few decisions where I feel we were unlucky. I think [Mohammad] Yousuf was not out yesterday and when you get one such decision against your premier batsman it does affect you."
The charge was brought by on-field umpires Simon Taufel and Mark Benson, third umpire Nadeem Ghauri and the fourth umpire Iftikhar Malik following which Butt was found guilty of breaching the ICC Code of Conduct by match referee Alan Hurst
"It is the responsibility of the captain or vice-captain to set examples on and off the field in not only what they do, but also what they say," Hurst said. "Negative comments about some umpiring decisions, made by Salman Butt at a media conference and later printed in more than one newspaper, were very specific and could have the effect of creating addition tensions on the field and also undermining the mutual respect that is essential between umpires and players.
"If players or officials have any views of this nature then there are appropriate and far less controversial ways for them to be aired including the captains' reports that are submitted to match referees after every game and I expect avenues such as this to be explored in future.
"In reaching my decision, I took the player's previous good record, his guilty plea and an apology for his actions into consideration."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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